Merry Christmas!

Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!
Maddie Christmas

I enjoy waking up and not having to go to work. So I do it three or four times a day.

An occurrence which many said would never happen has happened: Ralph Cox has retired!

Here’s a snippet from his goodbye letter to his co-workers:

All, After 30 years with Industrial Handling Engineers in Houston and 15 with Tompkins, it’s clearly time for me to retire. If you don’t think so, keep in mind that when I started we took black and white still photographs of operations, did facility measurements with 100’ tapes, timed operations with analog watches, did spreadsheets with paper, pencils and erasers, multiplied and divided on slide rules, added and subtracted on ‘adding’ machines, drew layouts by hand on drafting tables with parallel bars and printed them as blueprints, used a Smoley’s handbook to look up needed triangular dimensions, communicated long-distance in writing with a letter or a telex machine, arranged conference calls with telephone operators, copied one original at a time for reports and collated the black and white report pages manually.

Tompkins Associates celebrated Ralph’s retirement with a very nice luncheon in San Antonio. In a company made up of traveling consultants, it is rare indeed for everyone to be together in the same room. Most of these folks hadn’t been together as a group in more than 5 years!

Ralph, Scott & Gene

Ralph & Jim

Ralph & Brewster

Ralph in lobby

Ralph & Cake

Ralph & picture

Ralph speaking

Group photo

Dave & Jen

Jim, Gene & family

Family

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It’s a major award.

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This year we were proud to celebrate with Mike “Papa Pumpkin” Kinney when he was presented the Texas A&M Distinguished Achievement Award for Graduate Mentoring.
Go Papa!

Old-Man-Admiring-Major-Award

 

Michael Kinney Texas A&M Distinguished Achievement Award 2015-04-27.mp4 from David Cox on Vimeo.

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Better late than never

It is time to catch up on a bunch of posts. It has been an exceptionally busy summer and fall and this blog is bereft of maintenance.

First, the continuation of our trip to visit our family’s northern contingent in Nebraska & South Dakota. See the first post: http://davidcox.org/family/2015/07/independent-on-the-mighty-mo/.

Maddie & Taylor

Maddie & Jen

cotton candy
First Cotton Candy

dancing with cotton candy & mom

Volleyball

Jen, Bernie & Maddie

Bernie Dancing
I’m not really sure what’s going on here.

Bernie & Maddie looking up
Maddie & Grandpa

Maddie Flying with Jen

Maddie & Cheryl

Boatride
First Boatride – her eyes are watering from the wind… she’s not crying. She actually really enjoyed it though you can tell from her serious face that it was a new, different experience.

Cheryl, Jen, & Maddie

Taylor
Aunt Taylor

Maddie & little girls
Back in Bassett, Nebraska at grandma & grandpa’s house, we celebrating (belatedly) Maddie’s 3rd birthday with family. Here is Maddie holding court with Allie, Jacie & Kelcie (Jen’s cousin Barbie’s daughters).

Maddie & little girls

Maddie & Jacie

Sprinker

Birthday Cake

Birthday cake

Cake!

Maddie & the girls

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Independent on the Mighty Mo

Happy 4th of July!

We are celebrating a beautiful Independence Day weekend on the Missouri River at the Cedar Shore Lodge in Oacoma, South Dakota with Grandma & Grandpa Hart and Auntie Tay.

Flag Girl

Harts & Maddie

Ride 'em Cowboy

Flag Girl

Parade

Flag Girl

Parade

Square Flag

Spinning

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I’m Going Back to Texas

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Cowgirl Maddie

Cowgirl Maddie

Maddie’s school recently had their graduation celebration which included performances by the various classes.

Toddler Class Texas Song

Toddler Class Texas Song

Here’s the video of Maddie’s toddler class performing “Deep In The Heart of Texas”. Maddie makes her entrance at about 1:20 into the video.

Here’s the link to the school’s gallery of photos from the event: https://picasaweb.google.com/arboracademy/Texas2015?authkey=Gv1sRgCM36uM2q-MvRsQE#

Toddler Class Texas Song

Toddler Class Texas Song

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Happy Easter

Easter Bunny

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

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The Saddest Video You Ever Did See

I’ve been torn about posting this because it is pretty heartbreaking. However, 5 months later, I can watch it and laugh as much as be sad. This is the video from Maddie’s thanksgiving performance at her school last year. She practiced for several weeks, sang the song with us at home and was pretty excited about the event. However, when the day came and the crowds of parents arrived in her classroom to watch, the pressure was just too much…

adorable.
heartbreaking.
a treasured memory….

And so…. Maddie’s on-stage premiere:
Maddie's on-stage premiere

Here’s the video:

2014 Maddie Thanksgiving Show from David Cox on Vimeo.

Several of the grandparents were able to attend and Maddie was in great spirits once the performance portion was complete.

Madeline with grandparents

Maddie

Maddie with her teacher Ms. Luz
Maddie & Ms Luz

Maddie & Papa Ralph
Maddie & Papa Ralph

Maddie & Jenny

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A Beautiful Celebration

Last weekend, we celebrated the wedding of my childhood friend Joe to the charming Pamela in Austin. Joe’s dad Paul officiated. Rain could not dampen such a beautiful day.

Bride & Groom

I was not the wedding photographer and the formal photos haven’t been published yet. However, on the sly, I did snap these 3 images.

The First Look
The first look as Papa Rivers looks on

Sue, Joe & Ann
Joe with my mom Sue and Brian P’s mom Ann

Daniel & Jen
Daniel P. and Jen

While I wasn’t the wedding photographer (FYI, if you ask me to shoot your wedding, I’ll almost certainly tell you no), Joe & Pam asked me if I could build a photobooth for their celebration. While I’ve shot lots & lots of step-and-repeat pictures with studio lighting, tons of formal portraits, and certainly seen my fair share of drunk Santas, I’ve never built a setup where guests could take their own pictures using professional lights & photo gear.

Drunk Santa
Drunk(ish) Santa

I machined a little box with an arcade-game button which would allow guests to trigger their own photos.

button

The box is filled with TONS of hot glue to act as a strain relief on the cord so that it doesn’t get yanked out by unruly guests. The cord is 25′ long so that it can be dressed to the floor, the stand, and finally a strain relief at the camera to ensure that the camera & connection can’t get yanked. I showed this trigger box to a TV engineer at work and said “well, this should hold up for 1 wedding, right?” Remember that TV engineers have to make EVERYTHING war-ready and battle-hardened because of the abuse field journalists and photographers inflict. In absolutely appropriate TV engineer fashion, he took the box in his hand, thoughtfully turned it over and over, and said nothing. Finally after about 30 seconds of inspection, he handed it back to me and replied “Well, I guess that depends entirely upon the wedding, doesn’t it?”

Indeed. Too true.

Point taken.

Here’s the final setup courtesy of my setup assistant Brian. Notice that there’s only 1 stand which has the camera & light and that it is weighed down by many sandbags. The whole intention of this is that it requires no intervention during the event.

Photo Booth

In short, the booth worked out great. However, I truly had no appreciation for how quickly a collection of 7 year olds and semi-drunk adults could fill multiple 16GB memory cards when given a trigger button, a fast camera and a bright flash. I have 100’s of pictures of an empty wall thanks to one particular little man who was fascinated with how quickly he could repeatedly push the button. One of the beautiful things about professional lighting & camera gear is that you can shoot it FAST — like several times a second FAST. HUNDREDS. OF. PICTURES. OF. A. BLANK. WALL.

No matter. The booth turned out great!

Houston Crew
Here’s the Westbury Houston Crew — Me, Ralph, Jen, Sue, Daniel P. Paul (Joe’s dad), Joe, Brian P. Betty (Joe’s mom), Gerry (Brian & Daniel’s dad), Melissa (Brian’s much better half), and Ann (Brian & Daniel’s dad).

Brian needs to poop
Brian needs to poop

Jen, Dave, Brian & Melissa

Joe & Ben
Joe with brother Ben

Joe & Dave

Dave, Sue & Joe Photobomb
Photobomb

Rivers are Running
The Rivers Nuggets — Brandy (with Beau Austin), Joe & Pam, Ben (wife Tammy is hidden in the back), Bethany (with Beau Eric)

The Dancers
There were no male dancers at the bachelorette party. Betty was not so lucky at the wedding.

The Rivers Men
The Rivers Men

The photos ranged from sincere and sweet.

Sincere & Sweet

Sincere & Sweet

Sincere & Sweet

To cute.
Cute

Cute

Cute

To ridiculous.
ridiculous

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

All in all, it was a fantastic night celebrating a fantastic couple starting the next phase of their life!

Click here to view the full gallery of photobooth images from Joe’s wedding. Joe & Pam’s Wedding Photo Booth

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Want to see more pictures or get a print? Here’s the galleries: http://davidcox.smugmug.com/Family

Another day, Another Flower Girl — Elizabeth & Brandall’s Wedding

Maddie was recently the flowergirl in Dave’s cousin Elizabeth’s beautiful wedding in East Texas.

Maddie with Stephanie, Mary Alice, Elizabeth, & Jennifer
Maddie with Dave’s cousins Stephanie, Elizabeth, & Jennifer and aunt Mary Alice

Maddie B&W

shoes

Maddie

Maddie & Jen

 

Maddie with Eli the ring bearer (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

Maddie with Eli the ring bearer (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

Maddie with Elizabeth, Brandall, & Eli the ring bearer (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

Maddie with Elizabeth, Brandall, & Eli the ring bearer (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

 

The Cox Clan (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

The Cox Clan (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

 

Maddie coloring

Maddie with Papa Ralph & GaGa Sue
Maddie with Papa Ralph & GaGa Sue

Ralph & Wesley
Ralph with his Brother Wesley

Elizabeth

The beautiful Bride

Papa Ralph & Maddie

Maddie

Detail

Elizabeth & Brandall (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

Elizabeth & Brandall (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

 

Maddie with Gaga Sue

Detail

Dancing with Mama
Dancing with Mama

 

Maddie dancing with Dave (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

Maddie dancing with Dave (Photo © Jennifer Reynolds at Dottie Loo Photography, used with permission)

 

Maddie with Uncle Wes
Maddie with Great-Uncle Wes

Maddie with Great-Aunt Mary Alice
Maddie with Great-Aunt Mary Alice

Maddie with the Bride

Maddie with the Bride

Elizabeth, Mary Alice & Gaga Sue

Stephanie & Maddie

Maddie & Mary Alice

Click here to view the full gallery of photos from our trip to Elizabeth’s wedding. Elizabeth & Brandall’s Wedding

If you enjoy these posts, you can subscribe to this blog to receive updates instantly, daily, or weekly. Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email address.

Want to see more pictures or get a print? Here’s the galleries: http://davidcox.smugmug.com/Family

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